Mac Jones experienced his proverbial “welcome to the NFL” moment today. The Patriots rookie tossed three picks (the second was the result of a bobbled pass) and was hit 11 times in a 28-13 home loss to the Saints. It took him 51 attempts to throw for 270 yards. It wasn’t pretty.
Jones’s career got off to a solid start, playing a good game against the visiting Dolphins in a hard-fought loss. That was followed up by a blowout victory against the Jets, although he wasn’t called upon to do much in that game. Against a defense like the Saints have, though? It didn’t look like Mac Jones was ready for what New Orleans had in store for him, though he wasn’t helped much either.
A game like this was bound to happen eventually.
It Won’t Get Easier
These performances sometimes have residual effects on a rookie. He can get skittish in the pocket. Maybe a little gun shy. It helps in these situations for him to immediately get a cupcake matchup to build his confidence back up.
Next up for Mac Jones and Patriots? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers…
Let’s see what you’re made of, rook. Bill will never admit it, but you know he’s had this game circled on his calendar for a while now. So has Tom Brady. This will surely be the most-watched week 4 game, and Mac Jones will play a big part in deciding the outcome. He’ll be facing pressure from behemoths like Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, and Shaquil Barrett.
Will he be forced into big mistakes like he did against New Orleans?
In Good Hands
Bill’s gonna have him ready, I think he’s earned the benefit of the doubt. Jones also has experience playing in big games, coming from Alabama. The Buccaneers looked nearly invincible through their first two weeks, but they revealed some chinks in the armor in their week 3 loss against the Rams. I think it’s gonna be a good game and I expect Jones to bounce back, to a degree.
The hope should be that Mac Jones got some typical rookie mistakes out of his system against New Orleans. We should be in for an exciting Sunday Night Football matchup next week.